Bucharest, Romania is my hometown and the place I’ve lived in for almost 30 years, with small breaks. We have recently moved to Hong Kong, but after living for so long in some parts of town, I think I know best where to stay in Bucharest.
Not only that I have lived in some area of Bucharest, but I also have plenty of friends that live all over town. On top of that, both I and my husband have worked for many years in multinational companies and had plenty of colleagues visiting for business and staying in many hotels around town.
Taking all this into account, I can safely say I know where to stay in Bucharest and which are some of the best hotels in Bucharest.
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Where to stay in Bucharest at a glance
Even though Bucharest is big enough, the best things to do and most attractions worth seeing no matter if you plan to stay in town for one day or much more, are all in the central and northern part of town.
That’s why you’ll want to look at this area when you search for the best hotels in Bucharest.
Where to stay in Bucharest for the first time – Old Town
The best area to stay for first-time visitors is for sure the Old Town and University Square.
It is in the heart of town, walking distance to most of the important tourist attractions, and perfectly linked by public transportation.
A downside of the area might be the fact that during weekends it can get crowded, especially during summer. That’s because most of the streets in the Old Town are packed with terraces, restaurants, and clubs. But on the other hand, that’s why you want to stay here!
Here are my top choices for accommodation in the area.
Amazing terrace with the best view of Old Town – the apartment is right next to Piata Unirii metro station from where you are minutes away from most anything worth seeing or tasting in town. I love the colorful yet minimalist design of the apartment, but the most attractive asset is the terrace which offers stunning views over the old town.
Might be worth knowing that during weekends and public holidays the minimum stay is of 2 night and that returning visitors get 10% discount.
Little Bucharest Old Town Hostel – a hostel in the heart of town, that will offer you access to all the restaurants, bars, and tourist attractions in the Old Town. The hostel is also really close to public transportation, and you can get all that for an economy price.
One downside of the place is that I can get noisy, but that was my experience with most hostels I’ve stayed in.
Filitti Boutique Hotel – apart from the fact that they have rooms decorated in pale pink, guests staying here have loved the breakfast area which offers stunning views over the city center.
Even though the hotel is in the heart of the city, it is quiet enough and a good choice for those that want to explore Bucharest and also rest at night.
Where to eat in the Old Town area
For each of the areas I’ve chosen for the best hotels in Bucharest, I’ll also recommend some of my favorite places to eat in. You can find the full list of the best places to eat in, go for drinks, party in, and much more here.
However, here are a few places you shouldn’t miss in the Old Town:
- Caru’ cu Bere – great traditional food, you might need a reservation but you can also do that online. Try the minced meat in cabbage leaves with polenta and the Papanasi for dessert. Address: Strada Stavropoleos 5, Centrul Vechi, Bucureşti
- Grand Cafe Van Gogh – a great place for breakfast, brunch, or a coffee. Strada Smârdan 9, București
- Dianei 4 – one of my favorite places in Bucharest, this is where I always meet friends for brunch or lunch. They have delicious food and great coffee. And a nice garden. Strada Dianei 4, Bucuresti
Coolest area to stay in Bucharest
Hands down the coolest area to stay in Bucharest, we actually lived here for 6 months and I really enjoyed it. It is true that Floreasca is not linked to the other parts of town by the underground, but there are other public transportation options. And the closest underground station is within 15 minutes walk.
I particularly liked this area because it is close to parks, green areas, and some cool restaurants. The flat buildings aren’t so big as the ones you will see in other areas of town, that’s why you will feel the place is airy.
Capital Plaza Hotel – this is one of my best friend’s favorite places to stay in Bucharest whenever she visited for work. Located in between Stefan cel Mare and Victoriei Square underground stations, you can easily walk to either of the 2.
The hotel offers comfortable rooms, and it is located in a great area of Bucharest. A 4* hotel rated by many of its guests as a 4*+ or 5*.
Courtyard by Marriott Bucharest Floreasca – this is a very new hotel in the middle of the many office buildings where I used to work myself. It is clear it has been built for the many foreigners visiting Bucharest for business, but I think it is a great hotel also for those traveling for leisure.
There’s a shopping mall across the street from the hotel, and there are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops around. During the weekend the area is so different than how it is during the week. Also, Aurel Vlaicu underground stop is a few minutes away.
YMY Boutique Residence – set in a residential area surrounded mostly by small buildings, while still being centrally located in one of the nicest areas of Bucharest. Some great brunch places are within walking distance, and also some of the coolest clubs in town.
Many of the people that stayed here would recommend it to others or would return to this hotel.
Novum Aparthotel – the first thing that caught my eye apart from the great reviews this place has, was its modern and colorful design. Set in a quiet area of Bucharest, close to a lake and to parks offering a green view, you will also be close to some beautiful places in Bucharest.
Where to eat in the Floreasca area
- Trickshot – we used to go out and eat at this place pretty often because it was really close to the office and we really loved the food, especially pasta and meat. Their burgers are delicious! The best in town in my point of view. Promenada Mall, Calea Floreasca 246B
- Nor Sky Restaurant – not particularly a fan of the food here (sorry), but they do make great cocktails and the view from the 36th floor is pretty nice. Sky Tower, et 36
- Mamizza – a bit further away from the others, but close to Capital Plaza, this is where you will find the best pizza in town. The make it in true Napoli style with real Italian ingredients and I absolutely love it! Str. Tunari 6A
Hotel Herastrau – Herastrau Hotel is set right in the middle of Herastrau Park, thus in a very quiet and green area. I would recommend booking a stay here especially if you are visiting during spring and want to catch some alone time in the Japanese garden.
Another plus is that the hotel is just a short taxi ride from the airport, but also close to some of the most beautiful streets in Bucharest, or great terraces and restaurants on the lake.
Vila Paris Boutique Hotel – a retro-chic hotel set in one of the most beautiful areas of Bucharest, especially during spring or fall. I can honestly say you cannot get a better area than that in Bucharest, it is my all-time favorite!
There are plenty of nice restaurants around, really cool coffee shops, and lots of trees and small houses. It is worth saying the hotel is set in the area where all the embassies are.
Where to eat in the Dorobanti area
- Frudisiac – hands down the best pancakes in town. Yes, there are plenty of pancake places in town, but I love the ones they make here. And I love their coffee as well. The only downside is that they don’t take reservations and it can get hard to find a seat since it is a popular place in town. Intrarea Bitolia
- Pio Bistro – just a few steps away from Frudisiac, if you don’t find a place you can check out Pio Bistro. They also have great food. Strada Puțul lui Zamfir nr 2
- Zen Sushi – the best sushi in town in my opinion. I always go back and love it! Strada George Călinescu 15
Hotel Cismigiu – set in a beautiful historic building dating from 1912 that has been recently reopened. You will be only minutes away from the Old Town, and next door to Cimsigiu Park.
The hotel also hosts one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in town: Cismigiu Bistro. I love the place not only because of its pink stunning decor but also because it offers incredible views over Bucharest – especially during sunset.
Best neighborhood in Bucharest for families
This area holds lots and lots of memories. Mainly because it is the area I’ve studied in, thus also spent days and days exploring outside of the university.
But also because it is filled with great places I often meet my friends in. And let’s not forget about some of the most photogenic places in Bucharest as well.
Mercure Bucharest City Center Hotel – This 4* hotel hasn’t been around for a long time now, thus it has new and modern architecture and furniture.
The location is perfect, walking distance from some f the most important attractions in Bucharest and some of the greatest coffee places or restaurants. I’ve actually tested it while my friend was in town some years ago and I would recommend it for sure.
Marshal Garden – on the other side of Piata Romana, this was one of the favorite hotels of my colleagues traveling from Germany to Bucharest often. They would always book this hotel because of the facilities it offers, its great location, and the great helpful staff.
Sheraton Bucharest Hotel – a 5* hotel right across the street from my university, this is in fact the place I’ve done my pastry chef training some years ago for a few months. I can tell you the sweets here are a must-try! No matter if you stay at the hotel or not.
Radisson Blu Hotel – right on Calea Victoriei a minute away from the Romanian Atheneum and some of the main attractions in town, Radisson Blu hotel might be one of the best hotels in Bucharest, as expected from a 5* hotel.
Of course, the hotel is not a budget option, but you get what you pay from and this is one of the most luxurious options in Bucharest.
Where to eat in the Piata Romana area
- Shift Pub – another favorite of mine, we go back at least every month because they have the most delicious pasta in town! Their small garden is also very nice and cozy. Strada General Eremia Grigorescu 17
- Gradina Verona – the perfect location for lunch or dinner in the garden whenever it’s nice outside. I’ve celebrated birthdays in this garden, and have met friends so many times here. Strada Pictor Arthur Verona 13-15
Where to stay in Bucharest for nightlife & party
The best area to stay in Bucharest when you come for the nightlife and the party scene is the Lipscani area in the Old Town.
I’ve already talked about the Old Town area, but here are a few other great options to have in mind.
Z Executive Boutique Hotel – just behind Universitate underground station and a few minutes walk from Lispcani street, the hotel is perfectly located. Breakfast is served in the rooftop restaurant that offers a 360-degree view over Bucharest.
Hilton Garden Inn – another new hotel in the heart of the city built in a restored old building. Guests staying here enjoyed the great breakfast.
How to get around Bucharest
Let me start by saying that Bucharest might be one of the cheapest capitals in Europe, and not only when it comes to transportation costs.
For getting from the airport to the city center you have 3 options. Unfortunately, Romania hasn’t thought about linking its airport to the city center or train station by train.
- by bus – the bus 783 Express Line will get you from the airport to the train station or city center. Buy the rechargeable card at the ticket stand on the ground floor at the airport and validate it every time you’re on the bus. Price: one trip 3.5 lei; The magnetic card valid for two travels costs 7 lei.
- book a transfer – that’s the fastest, easiest, and less time-consuming option. However, it can also be the more expensive one. But if you’re in Romania for the first time, I would go for it!
- by taxi – order a taxi from the machines outside of the arrivals area. With the ticket, you’ll have to go outside and wait for your car to arrive. Ordering an Uber could also be an option, but sometimes it might get difficult to find the car since they are not allowed to come in front of the door.
Getting around town is easy when you choose to stay in either one of the places on this list. A ticket for the underground is 5 lei valid for 2 trips, while a ticket for the bus/tram is less than 2 lei. Also, taxies and Uber are very cheap and since distances are not that big, it might be worth going that way.
Other Romania travel resources
- Check out my perfect one day in Bucharest itinerary
- Take some stunning pictures in Bucharest by following my Instagrammable places in Bucharest list
- Start with Bucharest and spend one week in Romania and get from Bucharest to Transylvania
- Is Romania safe? I say so but read why here.
- Wondering what to eat in Romania? Take my word for it!
- Have more time? Consider these amazing day trips from Bucharest.
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